Eighth-graders officially transform into freshmen

by: THE REVIEW: JILLIAN DALEY - A parade of Lake Oswego Junior High students passes beneath a balloon archway, becoming freshmen. The parade-goers in the front row are, from left: Brooks Boutwell, Mac Roberts, Julia Peterson, LOJ Principal Robert Caplinger, Kriti Rastogi, Kaiyo Shi and Peter Liu.Hundreds of parents, teachers and school staff — and a few Lake Oswego police officers — turned out to witness the annual Balloon Crossing ceremony last week.

On a rain-free but cloudy morning June 12, officers stood in crosswalks to hold back traffic on Country Club Road as a crowd cheered at the entrance to Lake Oswego High School. Across the street, a gathering at the entrance to Lake Oswego Junior High also was hooting, whistling and clapping. Parents with cameras snapped off shot after shot, and drivers of the stopped cars started honking encouragement as the procession passed THE REVIEW: JILLIAN DALEY - Graduating Lake Oswego Junior High eighth-graders are about to cross Country Club Road and become ninth-graders.

Dozens of graduating eighth-graders marched down the LOJ driveway on the last day of school, heading under an archway of red and white balloons (the school colors) and across the road. LOJ Principal Robert Caplinger and a few students led the walk, carrying a dark blue banner reading “Class of 2016” in white lettering as the parade traveled from one school to another, stepping beneath an archway of blue and white balloons (the LOHS school colors) as they entered Laker THE REVIEW: JILLIAN DALEY - Hundreds of students, relatives and employees from Lake Oswego junior high and high school attended the Balloon Crossing.

It was official. The LOJ eighth-graders were LOHS freshmen.

“I think it’s awesome, and I feel proud about how encouraging people are,” newly minted LOHS freshman Margaret Redinbo said.

The pack of students and family members from LOJ and LOHS moved into the gym and settled into the bleachers, listening as administrators and a couple of veteran high schoolers offered advice and THE REVIEW: JILLIAN DALEY - An untold number of photos were taken at the annual Balloon Crossing last week.

“This is a big step, so we want to make sure we are supporting you,” LOHS Principal Cindy Schubert said.

She said her top piece of advice for freshmen is to get to know their counselors.

Family members lined the walls or sat in bleachers near their kids.

“I’m excited to go to high school because it’s new, and I get to have new experiences,” new LOHS freshman Kayla Matlock said.

Kayla’s mom, dad, baby sister and grandma sat together in the front THE REVIEW: JILLIAN DALEY - New freshmen and their families headed to Lake Oswego High for an informational assembly following the Balloon Crossing.

Kayla’s father, Joe Matlock, said he remembers how excited he was to start high school, and he’s imagining how excited his daughter must be: “I’m happy for her,” he said

Kayla’s grandmother, Peggy Matlock, traveled from Southern California to see the crossing and said she’s proud of her school-loving granddaughter’s accomplishments. But what she’s really thinking about is not what has happened, but what will happen.

“I’d say it’s more like looking forward. You can see her future is bright,” Peggy Matlock REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Incoming freshmen packed the bleachers for the post-Balloon Crossing assembly.

By Jillian Daley
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